Essential Oils And Pain Relief
Many of us have experienced pain at one point or the other in our lives, whether physical or emotional. it comes along uninvited. From simple troubles such as toothaches or headaches, to more severe ones such as muscle pain, joint pain, or back pain. It might even be an ongoing illness happening to us or someone close to us now. No matter what you have been told, treating pain with conventional methods can be very difficult and sometimes, dangerous. Some of these methods even do nothing to provide long term relief but only mask the symptoms. Taking a safer and more natural approach rather than turning to over the counter and prescription medicines, can provide a more effective and healthier solution in pain management. Of course, pharmacies will be happy to prescribe some of their “special” pain-killing medications to you but these medications often come at a cost. Even though everything may seem alright, there is always a possibility of adverse effects developing from chemicals that make up pain killers, and in most cases accumulate the more we take them in. Luckily, essential oils can offer great comfort and assistance in relieving pain without the addition of dangerous chemicals into our system.
The use of essential oils is a natural and non-addictive way to deal with pain. They contain properties that can help reduce or completely relieve pain. Essential oils are derived naturally from the oils of certain herbs, stems, fruits, flowers and other plants. They are mostly rich in several different nutrients and minerals that can help reduce pain. Some essential oils have antioxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic properties which can help reduce inflammatory symptoms and relieve pain. The application of essential oils can be the most invigorating and enjoyable natural ways to manage pain, whether mild or chronic.
Before today’s conventional pharmacology treatments, essential oils have long been used in the past for treating pain for thousands of years, with the major application in joint pain and stiffness relief by ancient Chinese and medicinal practices. Today, essential oils are now easily available and has a wide variety of application. The uses for essential oils are vast and diverse. When certain oils are used or ingested, they not only target joint inflammation and pain, they also help remedy some of the conditions that caused the pain. A very good example is peppermint essential oil which when used on aching muscles, not only relieves the pain, but also enhances good blood circulation to the area affected, thus reducing the inflammation that caused the pain. The Lavender essential oil also helps relieve headaches and neck pain but in the process, reduces the stress and anxiety that could be the underlying cause of these conditions.
Types of Essential Oils
Essential oils can be particularly useful in the management of chronic pain as in the case of arthritis and sciatica. Each essential oil serves different purposes. For example, there are specific essential oils recommended for headache pain if the headache is caused by stress, by overindulging, by withheld anger, and so on. In the same way, muscle or joint pain could require nerve sedation, warming through increased circulation, removing inflammation and/or toxins, or a combination of these and other aspects.
Lavender essential oil is an all-round therapeutic oil as it is the most diverse essential oil in terms of its myriad health applications. It is also considered to be one of the gentlest essential oils for the skin.
While it helps relieve pain in many forms due to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, it also increases mental acuity. It can also help relieve stomach discomfort and respiratory pain. This sweet-smelling oil also helps in the regeneration of skin tissues for healing of wounds as well as treating a variety of skin conditions due to its antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties.
The usage of Marjoram goes back over 2000 years. It is also known as the “herb of happiness” or the “joy of the mountains”. Its warming, soothing antispasmodic properties that makes it an excellent but circulatory stimulant to both your muscles and digestive tract. Marjoram oils are especially effective in treating sprains, strains, spasms, arthritis pain, migraines and menstrual cramps. After intense exercise, you can apply marjoram oils to help remove toxins that may be left in the muscles. The warmth and increased blood flow created by the Marjoram will reduce swelling, increase mobility and provide pain relief. The aroma of Marjoram oil also affects the mind and is mentally strengthening and relaxing, calming the nerves.
You’re probably familiar with peppermint oil and have some on hand. It’s great stuff! Because of its high menthol content, peppermint produces a cool and soothing effect to help ease a variety of muscle pains. It can also work very well for headaches and can help clear your head when you are suffering from mental fatigue, and improve your concentration. However, you should never apply peppermint oil directly unless it is diluted with a carrier oil as it can cause skin irritation.
Clove oil is extracted from the dried flower buds of clove and is said to have stimulating and warming properties, so it can be used to improve circulation and stimulate metabolism. Clove oil can also be used to treat tooth pain as well as throat infections. It is often added to pharmaceutical and dental products. Clove oil can be used in many ways, you can dilute with a carrier oil and then massage on the abdomen, chest, or any part of the body afflicted with pain. A few drops used in a bath can also help with bowel problems. You should however, use with caution during pregnancy. It should not be used for babies. You. It should also be avoided during and after consumption of alcohol.
Other essential oils include:
Rosemary: It is good remedy for back pain, muscle and joint pain, and headaches because of its analgesic and antispasmodic properties.
Chamomile is well known for its effective anti-inflammatory properties. It has been shown to help relieve muscle pain and spasms, low back pain, and headaches.
Eucalyptus: Just like the Rosemary oil, Eucalyptus has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties and is good for muscle pain and nerve pain. It should however be used in small quantities.
Thyme is also good for joint and muscle pain as well as backache because of its antispasmodic properties.
Clary sage has calming and soothing properties, as well as anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to ease muscle tension, muscle aches and spasms. It should also be used in minute quantities. Also, avoid using with alcohol or at night.
Sandalwood: One of the most important uses of this essential oil is that it helps reduce nerve pain by sedating the nervous system. It also works effectively for spasms.
Juniper: The properties of Juniper are similar to those of eucalyptus essential oil. It also has antispasmodic properties and is effective for relieving nerve pain, joint and muscle aches and spasms.
Ginger oil can ease back pain and improve mobility. It can also be used to treat arthritic and rheumatic pain, muscle pain and sprains.
Frankincense has anti-inflammatory properties and can act as a mild sedative. It can also be used to alleviate stress and relieve pain.
Safe Use of Essential Oils
Since there are no particular regulations on the usage of essential oils, knowing where your oils come from and how they are created is very important. Here are some things you should keep in mind before using essential oils.
Skin irritation and itch
Some essential oils can relieve pain but can also cause skin irritation for people with sensitive skin. Oils like citronella, cinnamon, clove, ginger, eucalyptus, etc. can irritate and itch the skin. You can reduce or avoid this by trying just a little amount of the essential oil when using for the first time. Be sure to dilute your essentials oils in a moisturizing carrier oil.
People with respiratory problems such as asthma, sinusitis, pneumonia, and acute bronchitis, can experience side effects when they use essential oils. Also, those who are allergic to fragrance can have a headache, nausea, fatigue, or respiratory diseases when they inhale the chemicals in essential oils.
Some essential oils when inhaled, can cause side effects for people with health problems. People with preexisting conditions like asthma or heart problems should avoid essential oils unless you’re working with a trained individual.
Illness or death
Oils like pennyroyal and wintergreen can be very fatal if swallowed. Some toxic oils can cause miscarriage when taken orally. Do not attempt oral use unless you’re under the supervision of a medical professional. Also, pregnant as well as breastfeeding women should be extremely careful with the use of essential oils. When you want to use them, you’ll need to dilute them heavily in a safe carrier oil such as coconut oil. However, oils such as Rosemary and spike Lavender should never be used on pregnant women, even when diluted. Never use oils at all on babies under the age of one.
Essential oils are a natural way to help us find our much-needed relief from pain and inflammation. Don’t be afraid to use them but do so wisely. Just as you would with any other type of medicine, keep oils out of the reach of children and pets. If you’re nervous, research any essential oils and blends before you use them. You can still enjoy many of the benefits of essential oils without having to use them directly on your body.
However, you may still need to speak with your doctor as it is of paramount importance to ascertain and understand the underlying cause of pain and address that condition where necessary.
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